SD&G United Way sets $700K goal for 2016

Representatives from some of the SD&G United Way's 17 member agencies hold up the numbers showing this year's campaign on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016 at the Royal Canadian Legion in Cornwall, Ont. The goal of $700,000 is already been boosted to 10 per cent based on corporate donations announced Friday. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The United Way campaign has officially started with a goal of raising $700,000 between now and the middle of December.

People packed the Royal Canadian Legion on Second Street West Friday morning to hear about this year’s fundraising activities.

The campaign goal is slightly less than last year’s target of $710,000.

“Let’s go a little lower. We didn’t want to go below $700,000 so let’s keep it at an even number, which sounded like a good number for us,” 2016 campaign chairman Bill Makinson told Cornwall Newswatch.

“You remember last year we raised a lot of money. You know a lot of people say ‘Oh, you didn’t make your goal.’ We raised $680,000 in this community so we did very well. We believe the goal of $700,000 is very attainable for us,” Makinson said.

The money goes to fund 17 member agencies like the Boys and Girls Club and the Tri-County Literacy Council.

As more groups ask for public donations and dollars are more scarce, Makinson believes the fundraising goal can be met. “The money’s out there, we have a generous community, not just Cornwall but the (United) Counties. We just got to work hard, knocking on doors. We want to get people on payroll deduction,” Makinson said.

Makinson said they plan to spread the United Way fundraising message through presentations at various council meetings in SD&G.

“We’re trying to set a goal that is achievable that will be able to invest in the community to the same level that we have in previous years. The need is always greater. We certainly could have a goal higher than $700,000. Our community is extremely generous. We’ve been very close the last two years so we felt that was an achievable goal,” SD&G United Way Executive Director Lori Greer told CNW.

The campaign met 95 per cent of its $710,000 campaign in 2015.

Greer said they were “very fortunate” to be able to meet the funding needs of their member agencies with “very minimal” effect last year and its hoped the $700,000 would do the same this year.

A number of corporate donations were announced during the Friday morning event, giving the campaign a $70,000 kickoff or 10 per cent of its goal.

The campaign runs through Friday, Dec. 16, 2016.

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